Recap: Game Of Thrones – Season 5 Finale

Wow! What a finale! If you’ve read the book you saw this coming. I was shocked! More shocked than when Ned has his head cut off. More shocked than when Robb’s wife was stabbed in her pregnant stomach. I shouldn’t be surprised because this is Game Of Thrones and this is why we all watch. This season seemed to be playing it safe in terms of major deaths, but it decided to leave its biggest death for the finale. We’ll save that for later…

Stannis has been on one mission for most of the series. He wants the Iron Thrones, and most people would agree he is the rightful heir. After saving Jon at Castle Black, Stannis has been determined to take Winterfell back from the Boltons. His arc this season has been extremely effective for me as he’s slowly turned from a tactical strategist to a religious fanatic. In one of the best scenes earlier this season he shares a touching moment with his daughter Shireen. He tells her and the audience how hard he fought to keep Greyscale from killing her. We finally saw the heart behind the man. His belief in Melisandre and The Lord Of Light consumed him when faced with a hard winter and an army of unfaithful sellswords. By the time his army was ambushed in the night by Ramsey and his men Stannis was backed into a corner. He burned his daughter alive to secure victory over The Boltons and he lost. Its sad to see what happened to Stannis. His army was hungry, tired, cold and outmatched. It was a slaughter. Brienne met Stannis and executed him for the death of Renly.

Unfortunately, because Brienne was to busy killing Stannis, she missed Sansa’s candle in the broken tower SOS. She was forced to try and escape on her own, but was stopped by Myranda. Before she could kill Sansa Theon finally comes to his senses and pusher off the ledge killing her instantly. The two then jump from the top of the castle to escape.

In King’s Landing, Cersei finally confesses to sleeping with Lancel, but no one else. Her hair is cut and she is forced to walk through the city to the castle naked. This scene is grueling and even if you hate Cersei its hard to watch. Civilians are cursing, throwing food and even spitting on her as she tries to maintain her composure. When she finally makes it back to the castle she is greeted by Qyburn and the latest edition to The King’s Guard. Lena Heady’s performance is incredible in this scene. The look on her face, the emotion in her eyes and the transformation that happens to her character in this one scene is amazing. You know that this event will change Cersei forever and she will seek a level of vengeance we’ve never seen from her before.

Arya finally kills Meryn Trant in bloody fashion. When she returns to The House Of Black & White and white she is met by Jaqen, who tells her that a wrongful death can only be repaid with another death. He drinks a poison and falls to the ground dead. Arya then takes off his face to reveal others until she gets to her own. Jaqen is actually behind her and the scene ends with Arya going blind.

In Meereen Tyrion, Grey Women and Missandei are left to keep Meereen from falling apart. Jorah and Daario set off to find Dany. We’re given the pleasure of seeing Varys again. I love Tyrion and Varys together.

Dany is in some distant land with Drogon and is eventually surrounded by a Dotharki tribe.

Lastly, Jon Snow is betrayed by his brothers and stabbed at The Wall. This scene was utterly shocking. I had no ideas this was about to happen and was not expecting it at all! Jon has become the hero over the course of the last two season, and particularly this season, he has grown into a great man. One of the few people on the show we can truly and wholeheartedly route for! He’s now dead.  Apparently? Since this massive cliffhanger in the book (released in 2011) people have been theorizing if Jon is actually dead. In the book his fate is unclear, and many are convinced that the story is to far along, Jon’s story has been to developed and the story has been building him up to much for him to die this late in the series. In the show Melisandre arrived at The Wall maybe only hours before Jon is killed. There is a precedent on the show for bring characters back to life (see Beric Dondarrion) and Melisandre has the blood magic to do so. I’ve been convinced through the internet that Jon will be back in some form for season 6, but there is still a chance that he is just dead and that his story has ended. Either way this was a shocking end to an incredible episode and great season of Thrones.

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